What's the problem?

Alright, here is a synopsis of what happened:

I was installing new RAM, but when I went to power on my machine, the power button got stuck. Like, literally stayed in place, and I was just thinking okay... and then I realized that my PC was booting and restarting as soon as it began to boot, and then since I am all up in my PC, I could smell the PSU, and that freaked me out, so I quickly unplugged the power to my machine. I got out the old handy dandy flathead and pried out the button, and finished putting my ram in place, but when I boot now it does the boot thing again. I am not sure if the PSU is going, or if my power button is broken. I hope it is just the button, as that is much cheaper. I dunno what is wrong, I tried a couple of things to see if it was the RAM, but I am pretty sure it is not. Any ideas? Also, I temporarily by-passed the power button by shorting the power pins on my mobo. It continued to boot loop. Also, when I pulled the power cord out of the back, it kept looping for on average two more times.

So, is the problem a dying PSU, or something else? Sorry if this is the wrong section, I looked for a PSU section and couldn't find one. One final thing; if it is my PSU, an you please suggest another one? The one I have is just a stock crap one that isn't even name brand.
18 answers Last reply
More about what problem
  1. There is a test for power supplies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4
    Attach a fan to one of the molex connectors. See if the fan is spinning constantly.
  2. Will that test work even if my PSU is dying? The fans start, spin a little, then stop. It does that once per each boot cycle. Also, all the LED's on the mobo light up, and while they it not a sign that the PSU is functional, it does show that it isn't completely dead. So, should I do this test still?
  3. Mucius said:
    Will that test work even if my PSU is dying? The fans start, spin a little, then stop. It does that once per each boot cycle. Also, all the LED's on the mobo light up, and while they it not a sign that the PSU is functional, it does show that it isn't completely dead. So, should I do this test still?


    Yes it will still work if the psu is dying. Frankly you should not be able to smell the power supply. If you smell something burning it is time to replace it. Go with a Seasonic or another good name. Let us know your specs and whether you overclock and I will suggest the right wattage.
  4. Well, I did the paper clip test (well technically I used some with after I stripped the ends, and the PSU was running fine, and the HD loaded as well (I could hear it), since the fans are powered via the mobo they didn't start. So, the only thing I could think of is a mobo problem? If so, since I have a pre-built crappy Walmart PC (Not my choice, I would have built it myself, but at the time the money wasn't mine). Anyway, if it is the mobo, chances are I am going to have to buy a new case as well? Can I take my old CPU, and PSU with me? I would prefer to move as many things over to he new build as I can.
  5. This implies you tried to install the ram with the power on or atleast plugged in. I could be mistaken though. This carries a significant chance of damaging your motherboard.

    When you say you "smelled" your power supply, does it just smell like normal electronics or does it smell overheated or burning?
  6. It wasn't on, but I forget if I un-plugged. I can't believe I would make a rookie mistake like that. I've done so many changes over the years and yet I do this. Ugh. Also, it just smelled a tiny bit weird.
  7. Mucius said:
    It wasn't on, but I forget if I un-plugged. I can't believe I would make a rookie mistake like that. I've done so many changes over the years and yet I do this. Ugh. Also, it just smelled a tiny bit weird.

    The reason you want to unplug or atleast turn the back PSU switch off is the standby system still provides +5V to the board even when off. This is how the momentary push button works. Some boards have the 5VSB applied to the ram socket for some reason.

    It is really hard to say if the motherboard is fried at this point. Hopefully some more experienced members will chime in. I am still kind of a noob.
  8. Mucius said:
    Well, I did the paper clip test (well technically I used some with after I stripped the ends, and the PSU was running fine, and the HD loaded as well (I could hear it), since the fans are powered via the mobo they didn't start. So, the only thing I could think of is a mobo problem? If so, since I have a pre-built crappy Walmart PC (Not my choice, I would have built it myself, but at the time the money wasn't mine). Anyway, if it is the mobo, chances are I am going to have to buy a new case as well? Can I take my old CPU, and PSU with me? I would prefer to move as many things over to he new build as I can.


    First you already said it was a crappy pc. Guess what kind of power supply they put in those? If you take parts with you leave the power supply behind and buy a good brand. Seasonic, Corsair, XFX, Antec to name a few. Seasonic is king. Usually the case is still good.
  9. No one can really tell you if the motherboard is fried unless it is tested. You can disconnect the power button lead and do the power on with any jumper across the two pins. You might want to try that.
  10. Eh, I kind of want a new case, as it too small really. I might hold off on the power supply for a couple weeks till I can pull some extra money together. Do you guys have any suggestions for a PC case and mobo? Intel motherboard preferably, and around $200, maybe a bit more. Also, a PSU (ignore the $200 price, but be reasonable). I don't OC, or have multiple graphics card either. Though, I want a PSU where I have enough power to make changes as I want within reason.
  11. jnkweaver said:
    No one can really tell you if the motherboard is fried unless it is tested. You can disconnect the power button lead and do the power on with any jumper across the two pins. You might want to try that.


    Oh, I already did that. Same thing.
  12. Mucius said:
    Eh, I kind of want a new case, as it too small really. I might hold off on the power supply for a couple weeks till I can pull some extra money together. Do you guys have any suggestions for a PC case and mobo? Intel motherboard preferably, and around $200, maybe a bit more. Also, a PSU (ignore the $200 price, but be reasonable). I don't OC, or have multiple graphics card either. Though, I want a PSU where I have enough power to make changes as I want within reason.


    I get not keeping the case. I buy new cases with each of my builds. There are a ton of cases out there. I would go to Newegg and look at all the cases under $50.

    Go here and see what you can build. http://pcpartpicker.com/ $200 is pretty tight but you can prob get an i3.
  13. I want to keep my i5 from my old build. It's not that bad of a CPU. 200 is just for mobo and case. I have new ram, and a graphics card that does well for what I use it for.
  14. I would probably just build new since you may have a dead mobo AND don't like the case.

    Scrounge the optical drive and hard drive and get the other components new if possible. The CPU and RAM may or may not be ok.
  15. Mucius said:
    I want to keep my i5 from my old build. It's not that bad of a CPU. 200 is just for mobo and case. I have new ram, and a graphics card that does well for what I use it for.


    The i5 is a great chip. Probably the best one Intel has made in a long time.

    In that case you are good to go. You can easily get an ATX motherboard for $100 and a case for $100 or any mixture you want.

    here is one example. I think the case is sharp. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/A089
  16. Mucius said:
    I want to keep my i5 from my old build. It's not that bad of a CPU. 200 is just for mobo and case. I have new ram, and a graphics card that does well for what I use it for.


    What graphics card do you have? (Need to know to recommend a power supply)
  17. I have a GTX 550. Old, but gets the job done for what I want. I was looking at this, would it be fine: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1185875 ?
  18. Mucius said:
    I have a GTX 550. Old, but gets the job done for what I want. I was looking at this, would it be fine: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1185875 ?


    Yes that will work fine. Not sure you need that expensive of a motherboard though.
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